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aparlak

Alister McGrath did not dismantle any of the arguments of Dawkins. In fact his attempt was a complete disappointment because instead of addressing the arguments put forward specifically by Dawkins, just repeated the usual defences which was attacked by Dawkins.

John Hobbins

Perhaps you're right, aparlak. The usual defenses seem to work just fine, however.

There just isn't much to Dawkins's arguments, as even those sympathetic to his cause admit.

Dennis Goffin

I have not read the God delusion but I have seen Dawkins on various videos and on television and I feel that what is essentially lacking in his armoury is a detailed knowledge of biblical higher criticism. He lacks the ability to make the deadly stiletto thrust such as to ask McGrath for example to attempt to reconcile the Nativity in Matthew which is implicitly dated to 6/5BC with the Nativity in Luke which is explicitly dated to 6AD. Given that this undertaking is impossible he could then legitimately ask if one cannot have confidence in simple facts in the Bible, why should one have confidence in its theology or metaphysics. Having seen both Dawkins and McGrath in action I was not particularly impressed by either of them.
Dennis Goffin

John Hobbins

Why, pray tell, I am supposed to be shocked that the gospel writers situate the Nativity in discrepant historical contexts? Without the benefit of a friendly neighborhood library or the internet, their ability to fact check was undoubtedly limited.

Of course the biblical authors were subject to the same historical contingencies as we are, which means that aspects of the physics, metaphysics, and theology of their writings are time-sensitive, and must be approached, to paraphrase Augustine, with a hermeneutics of love.

The real question is, do the biblical authors also tell us something fundamental about the universe, about ourselves, and the One who holds it all in his hands, if there is such a one.

I think they do.

Steve

>>>“Addressing the conclusions of the The God Delusion point by point with the devastating insight of a molecular biologist turned theologian, Alister McGrath dismantles the argument that science should lead to atheism, and demonstrates instead that Dawkins has abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism.” – Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project.

Dawkins has indeed "abandoned his much-cherished rationality to embrace an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism". For instance, he has stated that even those that follow the POV of Spinoza or are Pantheistic in their beliefs are just "sexed up atheists"...??? huh? An embittered ardent atheist indeed; religiously atheist perhaps? Perhaps he can be the new Pope of Atheism? He even puts words into the mouths of those (Spinoza, Pantheists) who by their very nature can see the inherent divine form/s in nature/creation and who are obviously not placing themselves in an atheist camp of thought; they might not personalise creation, but they are respectful and in awe of it at least.

Basically Dawkins exists in a world where anything inexplicable based on plausible deniability of its existence MUST render it non-existent. To Richard Dawkins Negative-Evidence is the most cogent of all evidence and can be utilized against any belief for any purpose and if that fails the old technique of building a straw man argument and burning it down will always work.

How true the teachings of Jesus regarding 'blind men' are when applied to the mentality of Richard Dawkins; “Having eyes to see you do not see”…look deeper.

Fundamentalism does in fact go both ways, and in that respect Dawkins is a hypocrite who tarnishes theologians with a brush that he paints himself with by his own modus-operandi.

I guess however if you accept the label of 'atheist', then you have to continuously deny ALL possible existence of a God by default, so at least Dawkins is consistent, even when it reeks of pride, which of course it could never do in the world of Dawkins as this would be a HERESY against his religiously atheist ideology!

I can see him leading a charge of undergraduates in a new crusade against Christian and other such Heretics who dare to question the dictates of the Dawkins Papacy in his infallible (by nature) doctrine of the Atheist Trinity;
1-The All Powerful Nothingness (the Father),
2-The Product Of Random Mutations (the Son) that nobody can see but which cannot be questioned,
3-The Un-Holy Ghost of plausible deniability which when ushered into a human being can not be challenged)
...all hail the infalibility of the Great Nothingness!

Man by his own nature and being was designed to ponder the point of his existence. Dawkins is just upset that he cannot relegate himself to the mentality of the primitive animal kingdom where eating berries, munching on grass, and wondering where the next banana will come from is the apex of higher thought. Man is the only ‘animal’ (I shudder to use the term) who can invent, produce and drive a car, fly a plane and leave the confines of Earth to venture into the great void of space, thus by our nature we are not animals, we are something different and the essence of our being is to ask the great apex question, ‘WHY?’. Dawkins doesn’t think that ‘Why’ is worth asking, apparently it was replaced by the word ‘Science’. This is ridiculous as the very basis of scientific inquiry is to ask that same question. Dawkins is simply denying that at some point (now) science and a greater understanding of the personability of existence and human purpose might in fact make good bedfellows and become a natural progression of the word ‘Science’. I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word, and based on his habitual denial of the reason and/or purpose of deeper thought it is understandable as a symptom of his disease. He calls faith a disease without seeing the diseased nature of his own ‘reasoning’.

Man has the capability of wilfully inflicting untold misery on his own human kind, he also has the ability to render unbelievable mercy and charity on his own kind, he also has the ability (as no other ‘animal’ has) to wipe out all major life on this planet. Evil and Good are part of human existence. Religion is the mechanism to analyse this deepest of logical divisions and to move the human race forward into a better understanding of our true nature and how to conquer our ‘inner demons’. The argument that it is religion that causes the misery and conflict of the world is dismissive of the fact that such misery and conflict would be present regardless. Do Apes hunt in gangs and brutally destroy their fellow clans in wars of aggression and territorial disputes? You bet they do, and what would we attribute their religion to be? Maybe they do in fact have a religion? Perhaps it is closer to the religion of Richard Dawkins than to that of the peaceful theological approach of many religious scholars worldwide who tolerate each other in a way that Dawkins is trying to dismantle with his Atheistic attacks on those who would like to move out of the Primal Kingdom that we find ourselves in today?

My advice: Ask the bigger questions in life Richard, don’t spend the rest of your life ‘digging down walls’ and sieging the cities of thought and redemption that others have built simply because you want to dominate others and introduce your own infallible dogmas.

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